Last night the club’s committee members organised a post processing evening as a follow up from last weeks critique night. The idea was to give the new members a chance to see how an image could be improved using software. Chris explained that it is best if one can get photographs right in the camera in the first place but one eyes are better than the best cameras for getting detail and mood just right.
Chenxi did the first demonstration on an image of two birds
This shot was taken in a zoo a few years ago and Chenxi said there was no fencing around so it was a place to take your time setting up an image. Suddenly the two birds started a fight and Chenxi had his camera set to fire about 10 shots in a second and then after that second the moment was gone.
Afterwards looking through his ten shots, the birds looked a bit too bright and not showing a lot of detail but he noticed in the Photoshop’s software the histogram was showing nothing was blown out or too dark.
So he dropped the highlighting slider down a bit to reveal more detail in the birds
and zooming in he could see it was so much better and the sharp water drops made it worthwhile for Chenxi to process it more.
The water in the foreground was very murky and he decided it did not do anything for the image so he cropped it out.
Chenxi was pleased with the result and entered it in competition. The judge said the background was too prominent and being his early days of photography a comment Chenxi did not quite agree with (been there but I think they were right lol) , so it was entered again in a different competition and another judge said the same thing.
Chenxi then took this on board and spent ages darkening down the background and it finally got a 19 in the Rosebowl competition.
Next to give a demonstration was Lawrence
At critique night it was suggested that the image could be lightened to reveal a staircase silhouetted below and perhaps remove a distracting plane trail in the sky.
Lawrence chose to loop the bottom part of the picture which now had dotted lines around it
and then brightened it up within the looped area with the level slider
Finally cropping the top and bottom of the image to get rid of the plane’s trail and a dark bit at the bottom
Next was John
John likes taking images of shapes and angles and in this imaged he liked the shapes of the windows. Normally one should not take buildings around midday said John but in this case the light was perfect to make a contrast.
Sometimes it is best to do a crop and close in on various points of the image to get the angles.
John uses the adjust lighting tool in Photoshop which has three further choices of shadows, brightness contrast and levels
and finally changing it to monochrome
Another picture John showed us was of St Paul’s where he had four silhouettes in the foreground
St Paul’s in the background was sharpened up but the blobs on the window were hiding part of the faces on the silhouettes
So John carefully cloned the blobs out on the inside of the faces making the subjects now to appear outside the glass window, then finally changing the image to monochrome.
Then it was Chris’s turn
Chris was recently in the Lake District the weather was not too good but there is no such thing as bad weather in photography, he said lol. Unfortunately there were hundreds of other people about and Chris did not want people in his pictures.
He took this image, the foreground was fine but the sky was bland
(Brian pointed out that to add a blue sky in would not be right as the rest of the picture is not compatible with any blue sky and reflections in the water would be wrong)
Chris also said there was a person in the picture on the left who was not wanted and I don’t think there was any hole for him to fall in.
Chris said he could have cropped the person out but that would mean losing that rock which he felt was an important part on the picture and a marker to leading the eye nicely along the angle.
One could clone it out but one has to be careful as it will just repeat the area and one has to be delicate around the rock area.
Another way is to use the heal tool but again it has to be done carefully, here a loop in heal creates a sealed area protecting the rock from being deleted.
Now for the sky, Chris used the curve tool to show us how bending a curve would darken the sky and bring out detail but other parts of the image would also start to get affected and this just does not work.
So the foreground and the tree has to be masked out first, so a masked area which is the dotted area below does not get changed.
Chris second image was at Buttermere lake
Chris had positioned his camera so the famous tree fitted within the ‘v’ of the two mountains in the background rather than in the middle of one.
Chris always wanted this image in monochrome and balanced the light by darkening it on the left and lightning it on the right . I understand Chris used NIK software to get the required monochrome effect.
Last was Brian
Brian took this image, the background was slightly blown out
The points blown out show up as red and white markers in Photoshop
One can bring the brightness down a little but too much and it all looks wrong. The wall on the left could be cropped out but Brian decided to make the model pop out almost like a 3d effect. The walls of the buildings were smoothed a little by Brian.
and the wall on the left was kept in
The model’s face had the exposure dropped a fraction
An ellipse was placed around the model and various adjustments made which will only affect the model and not the background
The last image by Brian’s was taken at home in front of a green scene with a green light to highlight the models hair. Brian intended this to be in black and white
The skin tones can be adjusted using sliders
Any marks on the face can be removed using the healing tool
The eyes are important part of an image and many people get the effect wrong when brightening the whole eye which is not correct. Light source, in this case is coming from above so it it is necessary only to brighten the bottom part of the model’s pupils.
and sometimes just ‘gradually’ whiten the area from the pupils to the outside of the eyes but not right to the end.
Finally sharpening the model.
The inner parts of the face do not need sharpening just the surrounding areas and Photoshop has a slider to bring the sharpness only to the outer parts of the model, here highlighted in white.
Thank you to all who gave their time to give a talk and demonstration
Next week is
Practical Night – Light Painting
Tuesday November 20, 2018 from 20:15 to 22:15
A follow up session to last seasons chilly night of outdoor light painting. Weather permitting we’ll be showing you how to capture light painting images both outside and in the hall. This is a practical session so you’ll need cameras and tripods to get the most out of the evening.